The closing of GameSpy at the end of this month is shaking up the industry. On one hand, this event shows that gaming is changing, and the need for 3rd party dedicated multiplayer servers is a thing of the past, and on the other hand, it shows how much some companies care about their titles, as is the case with the original Halo on PC. Bungie announced that the game’s multiplayer will live on, in spite of the servers going offline.
This was possible with the help of the Halo-Fixes community and some members of the team that worked on the original game. Both Halo Combat Evolved and the Custom Edition will recieve a patch which will update the game to version 1.0.10, and will replace the GameSpy integration with support for another server provider: GameRanger. So, even though the GameSpy Master Server will be out of commission soon, after the patch it will appear to Halo players that this never happened.
“A small group has been quietly preparing for the shutdown of the GameSpy Master Server (which provides the list of Halo servers) and they are finally ready to discuss their work. The group consists of Roger Wolfson aka Sawnose (of Bungie), Btcc22 (of HAC2), Kornman00 (of OpenSauce) and myself, Technut (of PÕQ Clan). As a result of their work, especially Btcc22 and Roger, Bungie will be releasing version 1.0.10 of Halo PC and Halo CE soon, which will include the fix for the Lobby!”
GameRanger seems to profit the most from the GameSpy closing, some really well loved titles being ported to its servers. Halo for the PC is one of them, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 is another one that was confirmed for GameRanger support. It’s curious that EA did not say anything about saving at least some of the 50 games that will lose online capabilities, especially when there are alternatives like this one.